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Variables with same name as functions. trouble!

From: Joao Cardoso
Subject: Variables with same name as functions. trouble!
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 19:57:30 +0100


I spent several hours (dummy!) debugging some old scripts where it
happened that I used variables with the same name as script/builtin
functions. The error message is cryptic, and does not point to the
correct source line where the problem is. Of course this is a (bad)
programmer issue, but I suggest that, whenever a function name is
overwritten with a variable, a warning message be output.

The following script illustrate the problem:

function po

    error("This is an error!\n")


octave:76> po
error: string type invalid as index value
error: called from `po' in file `/u/qual/src/misc/po.m'

If the script where several dozen lines long, it would be difficult to
find the problem...

With the 582 script files in the standard octave-2.1.14 distribution it
is easy to make such a mistake.


Joao Cardoso                |   e-mail: address@hidden
INESC, R. Jose Falcao 110   |   tel:    + 351 2 2094322
4050 Porto, Portugal        |   fax:    + 351 2 2008487

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